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Ricotta ciambellone

Difficulty: easy

Method: 15'

Cooking: 35'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 15'

Cooking: 35'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 15'

Cooking: 35'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 15'

Cooking: 35'

At home we simply called it “the ciambellone”, and the undisputed queen of this dessert was my grandmother. It was the cake she made when my brothers and I would sleep over at her house as children. It was meant for our breakfast, but we started eating it in the evening when it was still hot (which made her angry, or at least she pretended it did!).

For us, this recipe has always signified her love for us; she was not a woman who particularly loved to cook—or rather she did not like complex dishes—but she had a few simple and infallible recipes that marked our entire childhood.

My grandmother’s ricotta cake was so good that, once we got older, we started requesting it from her when we all got together for family birthdays. She was happy but at the same time amazed: “Ciambellone? The breakfast cake?” No baked good has ever come close to her ciambellone for us, which has held all the family birthday candles!

The secret, she would say, lay in the choice of ricotta and how it was worked: She preferred Piedmontese ricotta—”the best for desserts”—and worked it for a long time. My siblings and I would compete to help her during the preparation, but the ricotta mixing stage was always performed exclusively by her! And so we would content ourselves with helping her with the next steps, passing her the eggs, the flour with the yeast, the lemon zest, and the vanilla.

Method

  1. 01 /

    Combine wet ingredients (eggs, ricotta, milk, oil) in a bowl and mix well.

  2. 02 /

    Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, sifted baking powder, baking soda, salt, and grated lemon zest) in another bowl. Score the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the ingredients, mixing well.

  3. 03 /

    Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until mixture is smooth and homogeneous.

  4. 04 /

    Grease a ring baking mould with butter. Pour mixture into greased mould and gently tap it to distribute it evenly.

  5. 05 /

    Bake in the oven at 175 °C for about 35 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness: a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

  6. 06 /

    Let cake cool, remove from mould, and sprinkle with icing sugar.

You can choose ricotta of whatever quality you prefer, it is only important for it to be fresh.

You can replace the sunflower seed oil with the same amount of butter.

Ingredients for 4 people

250 g tipo 00 flour

180 g castor sugar

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

200 g ricotta

180 ml fresh milk

60 ml sunflower seed oil

1 vanilla bean pod

Zest of half a lemon

Icing sugar, to taste

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